Routine hoof care is an important aspect of owning and riding horses. Without proper trimming and care, a horse’s hooves might deteriorate, leading to unsafe conditions for both the horse and rider. So how often are your horses’ hooves trimmed and/or shod?

We posed this question to our readers in last week’s online poll. More than 1,700 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results

Of the 1,743 respondents, 841 (48%) said their horses’ hooves are trimmed and/or shod every six to seven weeks, while 324 respondents (19%) said horses are on a four- to five-week schedule. Another 313 individuals (18%) said their horses are trimmed or shod ever eight to nine weeks, and 214 respondents (12%) have their horses’ hooves tended to as needed. Just 51 respondents (3%) indicated their horses were trimmed and/or shod at an interval not mentioned .

Poll Results

Additionally, more than 130 people commented about their horse’s hoof care schedule:

Some people commented that their horse is trimmed and/or shod every one to three weeks:

  • “I do my own trimming every two to three weeks and keep them barefoot.”
  • “He gets a maintenance trim with a rasp every two weeks.”
  • “I touch up the barefoot trim every two to three weeks—back up the toes and even the heels. Happy horse.”
  • “Racehorses are done every three weeks.”
  • “My horses are not shod. I typically round the edges of their feet about every two weeks or as needed.”
  • “My post-laminitis/founder horse gets a natural trim every week”
  • “I do weekly touch-ups.”
  • “I trim every 15 days.”
  • “No longer than three-week intervals.”

Others said their horses are on a four- to six-week hoof care schedule:

  • “Most of our horses are on a six-week schedule. Show and trail horses are the only ones that get shoes.”
  • “He gets trimmed and shod about every five to six weeks … or when he pulls a shoe off.”
  • “It’s six weeks for each horse, a schedule we keep religiously.”
  • “Babies and problem hooves get trimmed every four weeks and everyone else is done at six weeks.”
  • “My horses get trims at least every six weeks or as needed.”
  • “I trim every four to five weeks to keep consistent angles.”
  • “Our on-staff farrier gets all our horses trimmed in five-and-a-half weeks doing a couple every day.”
  • “In the summer we usually trim and shoe our horses every five to six weeks.”
  • “My Mini horses get done every four to five weeks. I use an electric hoof knife. Works great!”
  • “It depends on the horse, time of year, and what he’s doing. Normally that’s a six-week schedule, but one interval was only four weeks.”
  • “Shoes are worn out in four weeks as I ride so much.”
  • “We have had our three Arabians on a six-week schedule (unshod) for 13 years.”
  • “Every five or six weeks depending on the time of year. It’s five weeks in warm weather.”

A few respondents said their horses are trimmed and/or shod every seven to nine weeks:

  • “It’s an eight-week schedule, but my farrier will adjust it if need be.”
  • “My farrier suggested going to every seven weeks as no one was getting shoes.”
  • “Corrective trimming and shoeing started four years ago at five-week intervals, and he’s now at a normal interval of 8 weeks.”
  • “The blacksmith judges that. Eight weeks between is right for both my horses.”

Many people said their horses’ hoof care schedules depend on the season:

  • “In Virginia, my horses are trimmed every four to five weeks in warm weather and six weeks in winter.”
  • “Barefoot trimmer come every six weeks in warm weather and eight weeks in winter.”
  • “It depends on the season: About six to seven in winter and five to six weeks in summer.”
  • “In the winter it’s usually every five to six weeks. In the spring/summer, every two to three weeks with a natural barefoot trim.”
  • “Seasons dictate small adjustments. Hooves grow more quickly spring/summer/fall than in winter.”
  • “Length of time between hoof care is largely dependent on the time of year.”
  • “Six weeks spring and summer and eight weeks fall and winter”
  • “My horses are on a four-week schedule in the spring and summer when hooves tend to grow at an increased rate.”
  • “It depends on the time of year: six or seven weeks in the summer and eight in the winter. Their hooves just don’t grow much.”

Others mentioned their horses were on different hoof care intervals:

  • “I do the hoof work, so they get care every time I groom or ride.”
  • “If I trim once a month, the maintenance trim is easy and no problems get out of hand.”
  • “One of my horses needs to be trimmed/shod more often than the other.”
  • “I do my own. They are barefoot, which means I can maintain them on a weekly basis.”
  • “My horses wear them down on their own.”
  • “Horse hooves grow at different rates. Some horse need trimming every four weeks and others are 10 weeks.”
  • “It depends on the horse (growth, time of year, health/founder, etc.) so intervals range from two to eight weeks.”
  • “It depends on how fast they grow. A trim can be needed from four to eight weeks.”
  • “I have two barefoot horses. When they’re not in work, I touch up hooves every 10 to 14 days.”
  • “It depends on the needs of each horse.”
  • “Horses in work get trimmed/shod every six weeks. Off-season horses go as long as three months, unshod.”
  • “During the racing season, they’re done every three weeks. In the off-season, every six to eight weeks.”
  • “Each horse different. My current riding horse gets touchups every 10-14 days while the retirees are okay with six to seven weeks.”
  • “Mine are trimmed often to fit hoof boots.”
  • “My horse gets trims and his front shoes reset every 10 weeks.”
  • “I trim my barefoot horses myself on an as needed basis.”
  • “Trimming broodmares and babies are done as needed as they grow quicker sometimes.”

And some left general comments about hoof care:

  • “More educated, reliable farriers are needed.”
  • “A horse’s health relies on its feet: No hoof no horse.”
  • “Frequent trims prevent distortion of hooves and reduce strain on joints.”
  • “Our horses are barefoot and will stumble a lot if not trimmed often.”
  • “Both my Arabians have always been barefoot. They have wonderfully strong hooves.”
  • “My three have been barefoot 15+ years. Learned long ago how to trim as needed. Happy horses! Fat wallet!”

You can find more information on horse hoof care, including how the horse in motion relates to trimming and shoeing, evaluating and shoeing the “normal” horse hoof, tips for finding a farrier, and how horses’ feet can change in response to external factors. You can also find many articles in our “hoof care” and “shoeing” subtopic pages at TheHorse.com! 

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